Five Classic Films to Watch This Halloween

The Birds marquee at The Alex Theatre in Glendale. Photo by Anthony Nittle

“The Birds” featured in 2012 on The Alex Theatre marquee in Glendale, Calif.
Photo by Anthony Nittle

Last Halloween I talked my husband into watching “Carrie,” and he still hasn’t forgiven me. Watching a blood-drenched teen use her telekinetic powers to exact revenge on the classmates who bullied her wasn’t Anthony’s idea of a good film.

“But it’s a classic,” I whined when he complained about the movie. For his tastes, the 1976 horror film wasn’t classic enough. While he can view gritty crime dramas without as much as flinching, contemporary horror flicks just aren’t his thing.

With films about misfit teens with paranormal powers and knife-wielding psychos in masks, the 1970s ushered in horror films as we know them today. But during the three decades that preceded the disco era, audiences had a very different idea of what constituted a scary movie. Although a glut of B-movies debuted in the mid-20th century, the films that generated the most buzz then were equal parts suspenseful and psychological. These thrillers managed to leave viewers on edge with little to no gore. So if you’re like Anthony and want some cinematic suspense on Halloween without a bunch of blood and guts, check out this list of classics that debuted during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. First up “Gaslight.”